4 out of 6 new ‘Super Tucano’ attack aircrafts have already landed in Clark Air Base

by Warren Ryan Revoltar

Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said Saturday that four out of the six new Embraer Defense and Security A-29 “Super Tucano” close-air support aircraft, which are intended to beef up the Philippine Air Force (PAF)’s close-air support capabilities, have already landed in Clark Air Base, Angeles City, Pampanga.

According to Andolong, the four aircraft have landed in Clark Air Base around 1:06 PM while the other two are still in New Delhi, India, awaiting for clearance and would be flown to the Philippines at a later date.

Andolong added that Embraer pilots — who flew the aircraft from the company airfield in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and made several fueling stops in various countries before landing in the Philippines — would train PAF pilots selected to fly the “Super Tucano” for two months as part of the agreement under the Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee.

The A-29s, which will be part of the PAF’s 15th Strike Wing that will beef up the remaining North American Rockwell OV-10 “Bronco” attack aircraft used by the Air Force in strike missions, was earlier scheduled to be delivered by the end of July but the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent travel bans have skewed the delivery timetables.

“They are a welcome and much-needed replacement for the PAF’s aged, close air support aircraft, and their mission versatility and capability to carry a variety of ordnance will be very useful in the field,” Andolong said.

The contract for the six aircraft is worth P4.968 billion and was issued in late 2017.

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